A new year is underway and we have been busy behind the scenes getting ready for 2020. Earlier this month, four volunteers spent a few hours organizing and doing inventory in our storage unit, which is sponsored by a generous in-kind donation to Austin Humanists at Work from Roger and Carolyn Patrick. (Thank you!) We always are humbled this time of year to reflect on how much our organization has received in donations and the events hosted throughout the year. We are so grateful to everyone who makes what we do possible and we’re optimistic for a new year of growth for the organization.

This was our organization’s first event of the year. Four volunteers got together in January to take yearly inventory at the storage unit.

The first quarter of this year (January, February, and March), we’re holding all giveaways on the fourth Sunday instead of the typical third Sunday since there are races and SXSW that will occupy our spot. Stay updated with any last-minute changes in giveaway location (which rarely occur but it does happen) by following us on Facebook.

We hope you can join our giveaway Sunday, Jan. 26. Our giveaways start with setup at 8:40 a.m. with the line opening at 9 a.m. following a brief volunteer orientation. If you’re a first-time volunteer, please see our volunteer page and check-in at the intake tent when you arrive. As a reminder:

  • We don’t offer money or medication, even upon request
  • Encourage clients to take one item and get back in the giveaway line
  • Volunteers with yellow bandanas or yellow polos shirts can assist with anything you need

Here’s what we need most ahead of the January giveaway. The * means we are completely out of these items and are hoping to get enough for our typical line of 150 to 200 people.

***Warmth Items*** (coats, sweaters, scarves, mittens, gloves, hats, etc.)
*Hand Warmers
*Toilet paper
*Women’s socks
*Non-perishable grab and go foods
*Hair oil/ leave-in conditioners for coarse hair
*Emergency blankets
*Grab and go fruit for the day of the Giveaway
*Hand-sanitizer
*Condoms
Toothpaste
Sunscreen
Hair elastics

We probably have enough of these items, but a few more wouldn’t hurt:

Mouthwash, dental floss
Nail clippers
Notepads
Combs/brushes/hair picks (brushes and combs for all hair types)

The easiest way to donate is through our Amazon wishlist or by dropping items at our intake tent during the giveaway. It’s extremely helpful to document the type and number of each item when you drop them off. We can arrange for pickup of larger donations — just reach out and ask!

It’s cold out there! Our clients are in need of warmth items for unpredictable Texas weather.

Through February as part of our Winter Warmth Drive, we are especially looking for coats, sweaters, scarves, hoodies, warm hats, gloves, mittens, sweatpants etc. to help keep our clients warm. These are great to pick up through Buy Nothing Project groups, at thrift stores and garage sales, or even buried in the back of your own closet or car trunk.

The Point in Time Count is the day before our giveaway, and there’s still time to sign up with ECHO and join a team. The Point In Time Count (PIT Count) is an annual census of the homeless population in the Austin/Travis County area. Early in the morning of January 25th, 2020, hundreds of volunteers will head out across Austin/Travis County to count every person experiencing unsheltered homelessness. Volunteers will count people sleeping in cars, tents, parks, under bridges, and on the streets. The information from this count is used to guide public policy and is vital for securing resources to help end homelessness in our community.

Washcloths handmade for our clients.

We have more opportunities to get involved: Gettin’ Knotty Guild welcomes those who knit, croche and use yarn to join monthly meetups. Many members make hats and washcloths for the clients we serve. Join us Thursday, Jan. 23 at the Barnes & Noble on Research Blvd. in North Austin. Just look for our sign!

Starting Jan. 21, we can accept early donations through Amplify Austin, and we always accept monetary donations via PayPal and Facebook. This is a great way to fill in items we need last-minute.

We are looking forward to an exciting year with new partnerships, community impact, volunteerism and helping make our city just a little bit better. We are thankful to have each of you on this journey. Happy 2020!

Warmth items, hand sanitizer, emergency blankets and more items we need for the January 26 Giveaway

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